Let me count the ways I can say “no.”

A Pittsburgh ten-year-old convinced his mother to take $8,500 out of his college fund to buy Refrigerator Perry’s Super Bowl ring, or as it turns out, likely a replica of it, and then returned the ring to the player, who had auctioned off his original in 2007 for over $27,000.

‘When Cliff saw the ring, he said he had to have it. Once I saw the price, I said, “Absolutely not. We’re not buying the ring.” He ended up taking money out of his savings account. We told him it was money for college, but he ended up getting the ring.’

First, this boy has a huge heart (and college fund!) and a generous spirit. That fact is not lost on me. He deserves a giant pat on the back for thinking of others before himself.

But if we’re talking about this around the watercooler? As a mother, I can honestly say that while I try to teach my son that giving is better than receiving, if he came to me and told me he needed $8,500 of college money to buy a Super Bowl ring to give back to an ex-NFL player, I’d still be on the kitchen floor.

Pointing and laughing.

I’d have encouraged my son to write a letter to the player or some other small gesture, like a donation to a charity in his name.¬† But no way in hell would I have said yes.

In fact, I’d have invented new words for no.

“No. Nyet. Nay. Uh-uh. Nope. Negative. Negatory. Never. Nincompoopnope. Nopopotamus. Noneininyet.”


Maybe that’s just me. What would you have done if this was your son?


  1. Cassie
    April 7, 2011 8:07 pm

    If 8500 dollars were chump change to me, then sure, I’d let him. But if this was my kid, just knowing he was thinking of doing something like that would make me proud to be his Mom because he’d have a big heart.

  2. Magnus Patris
    April 7, 2011 8:39 pm

    You forgot “Getdafugouttahere” or something my wife says to me often, “What’s WRONG with you?!”

  3. gunnlino
    April 7, 2011 9:15 pm

    “who had auctioned off his original in 2007 for over $27,000′ , and then spent the money on case after case of beer to the point of requiring re-hab !

    Yeah right, my Dad would have whacked me in the ear and said go to your room and don’t come out ’till I call you.

  4. PA Girl in VA
    April 7, 2011 9:25 pm

    I, too, would have been proud of my son but I would have done a little investigating first before shelling out that kind of money. The ring should have been appraised and I would have wondered why The Fridge had sold it in the first place. But, in all honesty, I don’t think I would have allowed my son to take that kind of money out of his college fund (nor would I have given it to him); I would have steered him towards a more reasonably-priced act of kindness.

  5. Lisa J
    April 7, 2011 9:34 pm

    I would’ve laughed hysterically. Only because I would have assumed my son was telling me a joke. Upon finding out he was serious I would’ve been proud as I was saying no.

  6. Jenny
    April 7, 2011 10:07 pm

    I’m sorry but this story is just ridiculous. Don’t people know how to tell their children no anymore? Everybody wants to be their kids’ best friend and not a parent. I’m a single mom and worked like a dog to start a college fund for my son. I wouldn’t let him take a nickel out for any reason besides

  7. Beth
    April 7, 2011 10:23 pm

    Ummm – a big fat NO! I mean, I encourage my kids to be kind and generous and volunteer their time,etc. But – using college money to buy something back for an NFL player who sold it???
    No way…

  8. Michele
    April 8, 2011 6:25 am

    I thought the news story said that he got the ring as memorabilia and then found out that Perry had sold the ring because he had needed money at the time. He then wrote letters trying to contact Perry to return the ring and finally met up with him at an autograph signing. I don’t believe he bought the ring strictly to return it.

  9. Charissa
    April 8, 2011 6:57 am

    I should ask my 10 year old what she thinks I’d say to something like that. . . she’d probably look at me like I was nuts because she knows danged well I’d ask her if she’d lost her entire mind and then some and laugh about it with my husband for the rest of the night.

  10. Butcher's Dog
    April 8, 2011 9:33 am

    A one-sided conversation:
    “That money is for you college, son, so make a list of all the things you think you might like to be.
    “Is ‘alive’ anywhere on your list?”

  11. T
    April 8, 2011 9:35 am

    The sad thing is that the family had a hard time getting Perry to meet with them to give him the ring. It will be even sadder if he sells it again. I think the kid’s heart is in the right place, but he doesn’t seem to have been given a proper thank you from Perry. Shame shame.

  12. MizzPenz
    April 8, 2011 10:24 am

    The kid’s parents own Rosebud Mining. Think they are doing “ok” with money?

  13. red pen mama
    April 8, 2011 11:13 am

    I’m stealing nonopotamus. Just so’s ya know.

  14. Pghgirl
    April 8, 2011 11:27 am

    His family also owns Glendorn, an exclusive lodge in Bradford with fishing/spa etc..
    I think the gesture was great & sometimes the more money you have the gestures are just bigger.

  15. JennyMoon
    April 8, 2011 12:04 pm

    I say if you have it, give it. If you don’t, don’t.

  16. Kathy
    April 8, 2011 12:59 pm

    Yeah, hell no. I think I wouldn’t say anything because I’d be dumbstruck that he would even suggest it. When I got the power of speech back, I’d tell him about 1) there are consequences for actions, 2) that I appreciate the intention, and 3) he needs to think long term. I understood it was a disease that caused him to lose a lot of money but he also made a lot of money during his career; there are consequences to not managing your money correctly.

  17. Sooska
    April 8, 2011 1:30 pm

    After watching that blurb on KDKA I said to my husband, no way in hell even if we had millions to burn, and The Fridge will no doubt sell it again.

    It would have been a far better lesson to donate that money to a school in some poor area of town, or the food bank, or Light of Life Mission.

  18. Steve
    April 8, 2011 6:37 pm

    It is refreshing to see this kid have pure compassion and honesty.

    I was watching a story about the disaster in Japan last Sunday, and my son walks up to me with a dollar that he got form his very own piggy bank. He says. “Dad, I want to give this to Japan”.

    I certainly did not say no, and I helped him understand how we could do it.

    It was such a powerful moment, that I am not sure how you say no to something like that.

    Pure love charity is priceless. I can understand how his parents would support him in this decision.

  19. VAgirl
    April 8, 2011 6:52 pm

    Hmmm this is a hard one. Not knowing the background and only what has been mentioned here, I would probably not permit it. To be charitable is a good virtue but also you must also be wise with one’s gifts.